Twitter announces new features for Kenyan election

Twitter has announced the rollout of new features for the Kenyan elections which is set for August.

This is as different countries across Africa gear up for their general elections. According to the firm, it serves as a centralised hub for real-time political conversation and commentary, electoral resources, journalistic reports live from the campaign trail as well as a tool for people to hear directly from political representatives themselves.

According to the firm, this is in a bid to amplify credible information to Kenyan voters on its platform. It stated that it has launched a custom Kenyan election emoji, Kenyan election prompt, and Twitter moments.

A blogpost by Twitter’s Head of Public Policy, Sub-Saharan Africa, Emmanuel Lubanzadio, said, “Our teams are working to ensure that voters in Kenya are directed to credible information while they spend time on our platform.

“In line with our efforts to amplify credible information, we have been able to launch the following features:

“Custom Kenyan election Emoji: We launched a custom Kenyan elections emoji that will be activated by the hashtags #KenyaDecides, #KenyaDecides2022, #electionske #electionske2022. The special emoji, which pictures a ballot box with the Kenyan flag draped around it, aims to promote the discoverability of the election conversation and encourage active citizenship and a peaceful election process.

“Kenyan election prompt: We have launched an election prompt in collaboration with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission in both English and Swahili.

“The search prompt is a notification service that directs people in Kenya to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission website where Kenyans will be able to access credible information about the elections when searching for keywords on Twitter, associated with the Kenyan General Election.

“Twitter moments: Our Twitter curation team is supporting the 2022 Kenyan Elections with the creation of election Moments which are curated stories designed to address misleading and false information around the presidential elections.

“These Twitter moments will include key dates, and general guidelines for participating in the electoral process from credible sources, including Kenya’s electoral regulator IEBC, media outlets, and fact-checking organisations.”

It also announced partnerships with Kenyan firms such as Africa Check to amplify credible information during the elections.

Africa Check said, “We are pleased to collaborate with Twitter as part of our election work in Kenya. The collaboration will allow us to address dis- and misinformation by fact-checking claims and identifying potential misinformation.

Notably, the partnership with Twitter will deepen the impact of our media literacy project as it will allow us to reach a broader audience.”

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